Should you engage with trolls and haters?
That tweet links to an article titled, Should You Engage With Haters? These Creators Say No.
Now, I think I should make something clear: a hater, as I think of the word, isn’t necessarily someone who engages in a hate crime or what’s called hate speech.
Haters are, in the general use of the term, people who have an opposing view toward a person, and they’re characterized by their unfairly harsh attacks of a person.
Unlike hate or hate crimes, haters don’t usually target a group of people (as defined by race, ethnicity, orientation, nationality, etc.), but rather seem to have an unfair, unfounded dislike of a given person.
Okay, so how do I define trolls?
Well, to me, trolls can also be annoying, but their comments are not as intense as the haters. They may be more of an annoying inconvenience, and make silly, rude, or outright stupid comments.
That said, the article features the responses of 3 creators to the question of whether haters should be engaged with.
Let’s be clear about one thing: trolls and haters are not the same as those who leave behind criticism.
Just because someone criticizes something you say or do, doesn’t make them a troll or hater. There’s a big distinction to be made here: you can criticize something that someone believes, says, or does, without criticizing the person themself.
In my opinion, there are many overly-sensitive people online (and maybe not online, as they’re too sensitive to endure the idea of someone not liking what they say).
My feeling is that if you put something out there–a book, a video, an opinion, etc.–then you’re making that thing (not necessarily you) available for evaluation, feedback, and criticism.
So, what’s my take on this? How would I handle haters?
Hmm…well, if I think that if someone said something that was illegal or that asserted that someone, or their property, was at risk, I’d take the appropriate action. I may not reply to them, but I might report them.
Now, if a hater attacked someone else (let’s say this was on…my Facebook profile), I’d probably call that person out.
But other than that, I suppose I’d have to evaluate the situation and act how I’d think would be best.
Finally, it also depends on the platform. If you have the ability to remove comments, then you may do so. But if you don’t have that ability (say you left a comment on someone else’s site), then you may have to take a different course of action, such as flag that comment.
So, should you engage with trolls and haters? It’s really up to you and what’s at stake.